top of page

Reframing Willpower in Recovery: Harnessing the Power of Focus

willpower does not work in recovery - you need to focus
Willpower vs. Focus

In the journey of overcoming addiction, the common narrative often emphasizes the importance of self-will or willpower. However, this perspective can be misleading and, at times, ineffective in the long term. This blog post, inspired by Kelli Malcolm's innovative approach to addiction recovery, explores the distinction between self-will and the power of focused will, and how this understanding can profoundly impact the recovery process.



The Misconception of Self-Will in Recovery


Traditionally, self-will, or willpower, is seen as a key driver in the struggle against addiction. It's often portrayed as a muscle that one can flex to resist temptation and maintain sobriety. However, this analogy can be deceiving. Imagine trying to hold a ball underwater; no matter how strong you are, eventually, your strength wanes, and the ball forcefully pops to the surface. Similarly, relying solely on self-will in recovery can be exhausting and unsustainable. When willpower wanes, the risk of relapse increases.


 The Power of Focused Will: A Different Approach


Kelli Malcolm's approach introduces the concept of using the “power of your will,” which is fundamentally different from mere willpower. It's about the ability to focus intently on a goal or vision to the exclusion of all distractions. This focused will is more sustainable and effective in the long-term journey of recovery. It’s not about resisting temptation through sheer force but about channeling one’s energy towards a positive and compelling vision of the future.


 Setting a C-Type Goal for Recovery


A crucial part of using the power of your will is setting what Kelli Malcolm refers to as a C-type goal – a goal that is challenging, captivating, and takes you out of your comfort zone. This goal should be so engaging that it naturally draws your focus and energy. In the context of recovery, this could mean envisioning a life where the substance no longer controls you, where you live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle without dependency.


 Visualizing a Substance-Free Life


Visualization plays a significant role in this process. It involves seeing yourself living a day fully and joyously without the substance. What does this day look like? How does it feel? What activities are you engaging in? By vividly imagining a life of sobriety, you channel your willpower into a powerful vision that guides your actions and decisions.


 Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle


Rather than merely trying to avoid substance use, the focus shifts to embracing a healthy lifestyle. This positive framing changes the narrative from one of avoidance to one of aspiration. Describe what a healthy lifestyle looks like for you. It might include physical activities, hobbies, new skills, or rebuilding relationships. This reimagined focus becomes the driving force in your recovery journey.


 Conclusion: The Transformative Power of Focused Will


In summary, the journey to overcoming addiction is not just a test of self-will or willpower. It's about harnessing the power of your will to focus on a compelling vision of your future. This approach, championed by Kelli Malcolm, offers a sustainable and fulfilling path to recovery. It’s about creating and working towards a life that you desire, one where the substance no longer has a hold, and where a healthy, joyous lifestyle is not just a possibility but a reality.


By understanding the distinction between self-will and the power of focused will, individuals in recovery can find a more effective and empowering path to sobriety. This approach is not about fighting a relentless battle but about walking a path of positive transformation.




4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page